Business week article on the market place for ideas: “…Colgate-Palmolive… needed a more efficient method for getting its toothpaste into the tube—a seemingly straightforward problem. When its internal R&D team came up empty-handed, the company posted the specs on InnoCentive, one of many new marketplaces that link problems with problem-solvers. A Canadian engineer named Ed Melcarek proposed putting a positive charge on fluoride powder, then grounding the tube. It was an effective application of elementary physics, but not one that Colgate-Palmolive’s team of chemists had ever contemplated. Melcarek was duly rewarded with $25,000 for a few hours work.

Does the talent hidden away in India, Brazil, Eastern Europe and literally every where else in the world, finally have a place to put it to use without leaving home? Check some of these out and decide:


First published on February 20, 2007